Canton defeated Latin Academy, 9-3, Monday morning on the strength of pitcher Samantha Sullivan’s six-hit performance at Playstead Park.
The win is the third in a row for the Bulldogs, pushing them to .500 after they dropped their first three games of the season.
“We lost our first three games with sloppy play and now we are doing much better with the fundamentals, making much less errors,” said Canton coach Amico White.
The Dragons came out strong, scoring a run in the bottom of the first. They capitalized on a lead off walk and rare error by the Bulldogs, which allowed the second batter to reach on a dropped third strike before third baseman Marijana Stranjina hit an RBI single.
Sullivan picked up her performance after that, putting together a 1-2-3 inning in the second and then allowing just three hits over the next three innings.
Sullivan went all seven innings, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out four.
“She did great. She kept the walks down, she has great fielders behind her and that’s her job,” White said. “Throw the ball over the plate and she has a great field behind her.”
The start was the second of the season for Sullivan, who threw a no-hitter in her first appearance, a 12-0 win over Randolph Saturday.
The Bulldogs picked up their first run in the third inning, capitalizing on key misplays by the Dragons’ defense. Canton then scored two more in the fifth off a single from second baseman Meaghan McKenna, on which she scored after a miscue by the Latin Academy defense. With a runner on base, McKenna picked up two RBI, pushing the score to 3-1.
“We didn’t show up ready to play, we made a lot of mental mistakes and physical mistakes early. We gave them four to six outs every inning,” Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza said.
Latin Academy pitcher Sydney McGrath pitched well, striking out 12 while walking only one.
“Our pitcher pitched well enough to win, no question,” Zizza said. “She pitched great. She pitched great, but as a team we didn’t play well.”
The Bulldogs netted another two in the fifth inning, stringing together two hits to get the offense going.
““Basically we needed to get back to the basics,” White said of his offense. “We weren’t hitting well. We need to hit solid line drives and stick to the fundamentals and that’s pretty much it. And we did.”
The Dragons got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 7-3, but that’s as close as they would get. With two hits and a hit batsman, Latin Academy recorded the two runs, with both RBI coming from Stranjina. She was thrown out at second later in the inning as the Bulldogs nearly turned a double play.
“On offense we ran into outs easily, so that’s a big thing,” Zizza said.
Canton saved its best offense for the end of the game, scoring four more runs in the top of the seventh to cushion their lead, highlighted by a home run from first baseman Olivia Murphy.
Latin Academy falls to 2-5 on the season after playing five tough non-conference games. They’re 2-0 in the Boston City League.
“I schedule games outside the city because we want fierce competition,” Zizza said. “It’s a process. I don’t care about the record right now, all I care about how we play and we didn’t play well today.“
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